Devi Kushmanda: The fourth incarnation of ‘Maa Durga’ !!

Devotees have been blessed with the divine energy, because of which the universe exists. Durga Puja, a pious occasion where the devotees, indulge themselves into the worship of the 9 avatars of Maa Durga. Durga Puja is celebrated with the same name in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar, and in other states with the name, Navratri. The first day is dedicated to Maa Shailputri, the second day, Maa Bramhacharini is worshipped, the third day is dedicated to Maa Chandraghanta, fourth to Maa Kushmanda, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth to Maa Skandmata, Maa Katyayani, Maa Kaal Ratri, Maa Gauri, and Maa Siddhidatri.

The fourth day is dedicated to an incarnation of Maa Durga, who is seen seated on a giant lion, with a radiant, bright face, golden body, has 8 arms, with a ‘kamandal’ in one hand, bow, arrow, and lotus flower in the other hands, on the right side; while on the left hands, she is seen holding a nectar pot, gadaa (mace), chakra and rosary. The hand with the rosary blesses the devotees with ‘ashtasiddhi’ (wisdom) and ‘navanidhi’ (wealth). She is Maa Kushmanda. Her other famous names are ‘Adi-Shakti’, ‘Adi-Swarup’, ‘Ashtabhuja Devi’ and ‘Ashtabhujadhaari’. ‘She is the embodiment of divine light. She empowers the universe, with Her cosmic light.

Etymologically, the name, ‘Kushmanda’ means “the cosmic eggs”. The name, ‘Kushmanda’, can be broken into three parts: ‘Ku’ + ‘ushma’ + ‘anda’, where ‘ku’ means ‘little’, ‘ushma’ means ‘warmth’ and ‘anda’ means ‘egg’. Maa Kushmanda holds the universe in Her womb. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that when Lord Vishnu was creating the universe, Maa Kushmanda smiled and moved ahead, thus the whole universe came into existence. Maa Kushmanda created the universe with Her divine smile.

The fourth day of Navratra is celebrated by devoting oneself in the worship of Devi Maa, which starts with worshipping the ‘kalash’, and Lord Ganesh, followed by worship of Maa Durga, and the worship ends with the worship of Lord Shiva and Bramha Dev. It is believed, that worshipping Maa Kushmanda, with contaminated hearts and malicious minds, can make Her furious, so, it is always advised to bow down before Her, with pure, calm and peaceful mind and with dedication.

Maa Kushmanda dispels the darkness (ignorance) from the lives of living beings, with Her divine light (knowledge). She is the mother of the universe, Goddess of wisdom, wealth, intellect, light and strength, and is very compassionate.